Nokia considers selling its $879m undersea cables unit

Alcatel Submarine Networks is the world's top suppliers of undersea cable networks.

Nokia plans to sell Alcatel Submarine NetworksReuters/Ints Kalnins

Nokia is planning to sell its undersea cables unit, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), that has about 1,000 employees in France and the UK. The unit produces, deploys and maintains submarine cables.

Valued at about €800m (£677m, $879m), Nokia's ASN division is one of the top suppliers of undersea cable networks in the world. Last year, Nokia bought the unit as part of its €15.6bn acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

The unit is managed as a separate business by Nokia and its results are aggregated to its parent company.

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"Nokia's intention to eventually sell ASN was expressed by Nokia on various occasions in talks with the state and relevant stakeholders, including the staff," a source told Reuters adding: "ASN isn't indeed a core business, according to Nokia."

Nokia's management in France has informed the employees about the plan.

Nokia said there was no urgency for the deal as no potential bidder had been finalised yet, the Reuters report suggests.

Nokia earlier said it was considering strategic options for the business and had given the authority to audit firm EY to conduct a review for a potential sale.

The business has facilities in Calais in France and Greenwich in the UK, on the site where the world's first transatlantic cable was manufactured in 1858.

ASN's rivals are Subsea Communicate, TE Connectivity, Japanese companies NEC and Fujistu and China's Huawei.

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